Arcanum baseball wins road tournament game at West Liberty Salem in extras


By Drew Terhall

WEST LIBERTY — The fifth seed Trojans baseball team pulled off the road upset in the OHSAA Division III Baseball Southwest District Semi-Final with a 6-2 win in extra innings at three seed West Liberty-Salem on May 20. The Tigers were ranked 18th in the last Coaches Poll in Division III.

The Tigers were one misplayed fly ball away from a walk off win in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore Derek Longstreth had trouble fielding the ball as it was picked up by the swirling winds.

At the last second, Longstreth dove to his right and caught the ball to end the inning. Head coach Randy Baker said they debated about walking the batter since there was an open base, but they pitched to him and Longstreth did a great job staying within himself to make the play to send the game to extras.

“When it went in the air, I started to walk out. All of a sudden I seen Derek starting to flop around a little bit. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Then he comes up with a huge catch,” Baker said.

Arcanum held the lead for the majority of the game. They scored one run on a RBI single by senior Dakota Kendig in the second inning with two outs. Sophomore Regan Christ drove in a run in the fifth inning with two outs to go up 2-0.

Arcanum had a few chances to score more runs early in the game. Baker said they left some runners stranded early on, something they couldn’t do against a talented pitcher in senior Eli Allen. But, the team kept trucking on and scored a few runs.

“I thought we had really good plate appearances. I thought we left a couple runs on the bases early. Against a good pitcher, you can’t do that and we did. We battled through it,” Baker said.

Adversity hit the team in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Tigers got on the board with a RBI single with two outs. Later in the inning, they tied the game, 2-2, off an error.

After a brief period of frustration, the Trojans went back to work. Along with the Longstreth catch, Kendig made a diving play in right field to take away a hit in the sixth inning. Sophomore Ethan Kearney crashed into the fence from his third base position to get a crucial out in the seventh inning.

In extras, Arcanum loaded the bases with one out. Sophomore Kolton Quigney came through with a two-run single to give Arcanum a 4-2 lead.

Kendig later came through with two outs to extend the lead to 6-2.

West Liberty-Salem did lead off the eighth inning with a walk. Freshman Lucas Miller then got a strikeout and the runner remained at first.

Miller then got the ground ball his team needed. Quigney flipped the ball to junior Seth Fearon who got the out at second base and gunned it to Christ at first base to complete the double play to end the game.

Christ started the game on the mound and went 4.2 innings and struck out seven batters while allowing two hits. Baker said Christ has had some back issues lately that flared up in the third inning. He wasn’t going to go down that easily and fought through the last inning for his team.

Kearney and Miller combined to pitch 3.1 innings and allowed one hit and struck out two batters.

Baker said the team just kept fighting and fighting to get the win and his three pitchers represented the fight this team has in them.

“Having three pitchers come in, two of them sophomores and one of them a freshman, just showed the character of these guys. These guys work extremely hard. Very well deserving win. We have a lot faith in those guys to come in and do their job and they did,” Baker said.

Arcanum will now head to the District Finals and take on one seed Cincinnati Christian on May 22 at a site that’s yet to be announced. First pitch should be set for 5 p.m.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected].

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